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How to Get Bigger and Stronger Legs in Just 30 Days

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If your legs are lacking and you want to get them bigger and stronger in just 30 days…and if you’re ready to work for it…then you want to read this article.

Get in front of a mirror and drop your pants.

Look a little lower.

No, not at that…lower…

Do you like what you see?

No?

I feel you.

Several years ago, I had just over 7 years of consistent weightlifting under my belt, and here’s what I had to show for it:

how to get bigger legs at home

I wouldn’t say I looked awful, but I wasn’t exactly “Instagram shoutout material,” either.

And although you can’t see my upper legs in that picture, my calves (yes, they’re there—ZOOM AND ENHANCE) tell the sad, sad story.

My wheels were flat, and when legs day rolled around, I usually had my training partner like this:

get bigger leg muscles

But!

I’ve since repented, spending many hours in the squat rack to atone for my sins, and while my legs are still a work in progress (and my calves in particular–GENETICS ARE SO COOL RIGHT!?), I like to think they’re no longer a travesty:

best leg exercises for men bodybuilding

(As you can see, I’ve also learned how to diet, among many other things.)

Now that I have your attention, here’s what I’m going to do for you in this article:

I’m going to share with you everything you need to force your lower half to get bigger and stronger in the next 30 days.

(Hint: it’s more or less what you would think–train your legs a lot–but there’s a method to the madness.)

I have to warn you, though: it’s not going to be easy.

You can’t get a set of sweeping quads, bulging hams, and killer calves by popping some pills and powders and doing some air squats and lunges.

So if you’re looking for “weird tricks” or “workout hacks,” then this isn’t for you.

If, however, you’re ready to learn the simple science of building big, strong legs, and if you’re ready to put in some quality time at the gym, then keep reading.

Understanding the Anatomy of the Legs

best thigh exercises men

Before we get to the exercises and workouts, let’s take a minute to review the major muscles we’re looking to develop.

Let’s start with the largest muscle group in the leg: the quadriceps (quads).

This is a group of four muscles that more or less make up what people generally refer to as the “thighs”:

  • Rectus femoris
  • Vastus lateralis
  • Vastus medialis (VMO)
  • Vastus intermedius

Here’s how it looks:

get bigger thigh muscles

The musculature on the back of the leg is dominated by the hamstrings, which is three muscles that contract the hamstring tendon:

  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus
  • Biceps femoris

Again, a visual:

get bigger hamstring muscles And last but not least is the calf, which is comprised of two muscles:

  • Gastrocnemius
  • Soleus

And here’s how they look:

get bigger calf muscles So, those are the major leg muscles that we’re concerned with.

Let’s now look at how to make them bigger and stronger.

Use this workout and flexible dieting program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat and build muscle in just 30 days…without starving yourself or living in the gym.

The Simple Science of Leg Training

There are a lot of opinions about how to best train your legs.

  • Some people say all you need to do is squat.
  • Others say you need to do a lot of isolation exercises.
  • Some people claim that high-rep training is key.
  • Others advocate heavy lifting.
  • Some people believe that you should split your leg workouts into hamstring and quadriceps workouts.
  • Others maintain that you should always train your legs as a whole.

Well, I’ve tried all the above and more, and I’ve worked with thousands of people, and here’s what I’ve learned:

1. You want to focus on lifting heavy weights.

High-rep sets are useful, but they can’t deliver the same results as heavy (80%+ of your one-rep max) training.

2. You want to focus on leg exercises that safely allow for progressive overload.

For the most part, these are compound movements like the squat, lunge, and romanian deadlift.

3. You want to make sure you’re in a “sweet spot” for weekly volume.

Another aspect of your leg training that you have to get right is volume, or the total amount of reps you do each week.

This is especially important when you’re doing a lot of heavy weightlifting because the general rule is this:

The heavier the reps are, the fewer you can do each week.

Heavier weights necessitate more recovery, which means you can’t do as many sets per week as you can with lighter weights without risking overtraining.

I’ve tried many different splits and frequency schemes and what I’ve found works best is in line two extensive reviews on the subject.

When your training emphasizes heavy weights (80 to 85%+ of 1RM), optimal volume seems to be about 60 to 70 reps performed every 5 to 7 days.

This not only applies to the legs but to every other major muscle group as well.

Alright, now that we have basic training theory under our belts, let’s talk diet.

How to Get Bigger and Stronger Legs
The Diet

how to get bigger legs for men

You probably know that exercise alone isn’t enough to gain muscle and lose fat.

Ultimately, your success or failure is going to be decided by your diet.

Think of it like this:

If your body were a car, exercise is the gas pedal and diet is the fuel in the tank.

You have to step on the gas (exercise) to get moving (improve your body composition), but how far will you get without enough of the right fuel?

Here’s what it comes down to:

If you know how to manage your diet properly, building muscle and burning fat is simple and straightforward.

If you don’t, it’s ridiculously difficult …if not impossible.

That’s why it’s not enough to just give you a 30-day workout routine. We need to set your diet up properly as well.

I break it all down in my in-depth guide to meal planning, which I highly recommend you read and implement in conjunction with the workouts.

If you don’t, you simply won’t get as much out of them as you should.

How to Get Bigger and Stronger Legs
The Exercises

how to get bigger legs fast

One of the biggest barriers to getting healthy and fit is information overload.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve Googled around on just about anything related to losing fat, gaining muscle, and getting strong, you know what I mean.

Article after article, video after video, and guru after guru, all saying different things, all claiming to have the One True Way to getting the body you really want.

It’s a mess.

Well, I have good news:

Out of all the legs exercises you could do, a handful stand head and shoulders above the rest.

As you’ll soon see, if you make it your goal to just progress on these exercises, you’ll have no trouble adding size to your legs.

Before we talk exercises, though, let’s talk equipment…

Just Say No to the Smith Machine

Here’s a good rule of thumb for working out:

If something is easier–an exercise, workout, routine, etc.–it’s probably less effective.

There are exceptions, of course, but that’s more accurate than inaccurate.

The Smith Machine is a good example of this, because research shows that it produces smaller gains in muscle and strength than free weights.

The main reason for this is the machine’s bar travels on a fixed, vertical path, which makes it easier to move than a free bar, which can move in all directions (forcing you to keep it stable).

That’s why the leg workouts given below are going to call for free weight squatting.

Now, if you’re afraid that getting off the Smith Machine might get you hurt, don’t be. You can free weight squat just as safely with the right setup (and without a spotter).

All you need is a Power Rack.

How to Squat in the Power Rack

When you’re squatting, you don’t have to go to absolute muscle failure every set.

(Generally speaking, you want to end your sets one or two reps short of failure, which is the point where you struggle to finish a rep and aren’t sure if you can get another without help.)

This is why a piece of equipment like this doesn’t work well for squatting solo:

how to get bigger legs at home equipment

With a squat stand like this, there are going to be times where you cut a set short because you’re worried about getting stuck.

That’s why I recommend a Power Rack.

It allows you to squat (and bench press) by yourself without having to worry about being pinned under hundreds of pounds of weight.

Here’s a high-quality (and affordable) rack made by Rogue, which I highly recommend:

squat rack to get bigger legs fast

The key feature of the Power Rack is the safety arms, which you set to catch the weight if you fail.

Here’s how to use it propely:

Not All Barbells Are Equal

You might think a barbell is a barbell, but I recommend you pony up for a high-quality one with sleeves that can spin independently of the bar.

That is, the plates should be able to rotate without torquing the bar, which can put a lot of strain on your wrists when you’re bench pressing.

I like Rogue’s Ohio Bar personally:

squat barbbell to get bigger legs fast

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s now go over the exercises that you’re going to be doing for the next 30 days.

1. Barbell Back Squat

The barbell back squat is the single most effective leg exercise you can do for gaining size and strength.

Its benefits extend beyond that, too, because it’s really a whole-body exercise that engages every major muscle group but your chest.

You want to make sure you do it correctly, though. Bad form not only reduces the effectiveness of the exercise, it also increases the risk of injury.

Here’s a great video that breaks it all down:

Before we move on to the next exercise, let’s take a minute to answer a question you might have:

Should you full squat (“ass to grass”) or stop at parallel?

Well, the full squat makes the legs, and butt in particular, do more work, but it also requires quite a bit of mobility and flexibility–more than most people have.

This is why I don’t recommend full squatting unless you’re an experienced weightlifter that a) knows proper form (and how to prevent excessive buttwinking) and b) is flexible enough to “ATG” properly.

If that’s not you, work with the parallel squat instead and you’ll do just fine. Full squatting is not necessary for building a big, strong posterior chain.

2. Barbell Front Squat

The barbell front squat is one of my favorite leg exercises

Research shows that it emphasizes the quadriceps more than the back squat (which involves more hamstring), but it also places less stress on the knees and lower back, making it ideal for people struggling with joint problems.

Here’s how to do it:

And a heads up: this feels as uncomfortable as it looks at first. The more you do it, though, the better it gets, until eventually the bar doesn’t bother you at all.

3. Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian deadlift, or RDL, is one of the best exercises you can do for your hamstrings and glutes.

Here’s how it works:

4. Bulgarian Split Squat

You probably don’t see the Bulgarian split squat all that often, but that’s not because it’s a poor exercise.

In fact, it’s quickly becoming more and more popular among high-level strength and conditioning coaches, and for good reason.

Research suggests that it may be as effective at increasing back squat one-rep max as the back squat itself while placing less strain on the lower back.

Furthermore, it differs from the front squat in that it more heavily involves the hamstrings.

Here’s how it works:

5. Lying Leg Curl

The leg curl is a simple but effective way to target the hamstrings.

Here’s how to do it:

6. Hack Squat (Machine)

I don’t use many exercise machines, but I’m a big believer in the value of this one.

Like the leg press, it emphasizes the quadriceps but requires less technical skill and stabilizing muscles than a free weight squat, meaning you can safely handle heavier weights.

It’s particularly useful for sets that you plan on taking to absolute muscle failure because if you get stuck, you can sit the weight down without getting hurt.

Here’s how to do it:

7. Standing Calf Raise

This simple exercise is a tried-and-true calf builder.

8. Calf Raise on the Leg Press

This is a good calf raise variant that I like to include in my leg routines.

Remember–Progression is the Key to Muscle Growth

That’s it for the leg exercises you’re going to be doing.

The key, however, isn’t just doing the exercises–it’s progressing on them. That is, increasing the amount of weight you can move over time.

Remember: If you don’t get stronger, you won’t get bigger. 

But if you do work on building your strength on these exercises, and you eat enough food to grow, your legs will respond.

How to Get Bigger and Stronger Legs
The Workouts

We’ve covered a lot so far—the ideal approach to leg training, the physiology of muscle growth, how to eat right, and the best leg exercises for gaining size and strength.

It’s now time to hit the gym and make some gains!

Step one is outlining our goal for the next 30 days, and that’s focusing the majority of our time and energy on maximizing leg growth.

As you’ll see, we’re not going to neglect the rest of the body, but we’re going to dial everything else back (reducing both intensity and volume) so we can really hammer our lower parts for a month.

That’s why this is a 30-day program, by the way—it’s not a balanced whole-body routine that you should do for an extended period of time.

It’s a tool you can use periodically to “shock” your legs into growing and then return to the toolbox.

So, here’s the workout plan:

Day 1

Lower A

 Barbell Back Squat

Warm up and 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Barbell Front Squat

3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Romanian Deadlift

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Standing Calf Raise

3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Day 2

Upper

Incline Barbell Bench Press

Warm up and 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Close-Grip Bench Press

3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Seated or Standing Military Press

Warm up and 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Dip (Chest Variation)

3 sets of bodyweight to failure

(Not sure how to do these exercises? Check out this article.)

Day 3

Rest

Day 4

Lower B

Deadlift

Warm up and 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

(Not sure how to do this exercise? Check out this article.)

Barbell Front Squat

3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Lying Hamstring Curl

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Calf Raise on the Leg Press

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Day 5

Rest

Day 6

Lower C

Bulgarian Split Squat

Warm up and 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Hack Squat or Front Squat

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

 Standing Calf Raise

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Day 5

Rest

 

 

 

 

Take measurements, do four weeks of those workouts, and measure again. I promise you that your legs will be bigger.

(I also recommend that you take a week to deload before resuming your normal training as your body will probably need a break.)

A few points to keep in mind while you’re doing these workouts…

Rest 3 minutes in between your 4-to-6-rep sets and 2 minutes in between your 8-to-10-rep sets.

This will give your muscles enough time to fully recoup their strength so you can give maximum effort each set.

You don’t have to push to absolute muscle failure every set, but you need to come close.

The subject of whether to train to failure (the point at which you can no longer keep the weight moving and have to end the set) or not is a contentious one.

Experts disagree left and right, legit-sounding scientific arguments can be made for a variety of positions, and many people report success with many different approaches.

Well, I break it all down in this article, but here’s the long story short:

We should be training to failure, but not so much that we risk injury or overtrain.

Exactly how much that amounts to will vary from person to person.

Personally, I never train to failure for more than 2 to 3 sets per workout, and never on the squat, deadliftbench press, or military press as this can be dangerous.

Furthermore, I don’t recommend you train to failure when you’re using very heavy loads (1 to 4 rep range).

Instead, the majority of your sets should be taken to a rep or two preceding failure (the last rep or two that you can perform without assistance).

If you’re new to weightlifting, finding this point will be tricky, but as you get used to your body and your lifts, you’ll get a feel for it.

Once you hit the top of your rep range for one set, you move up in weight.

For instance, if you squat 6 reps on your first set, you should add 5 pounds to each side of the bar for your next set and work with that weight until you can squat it for 6 reps, and so forth.

What About Supplements?

get bigger chest workout

I saved this for last because, quite frankly, it’s far less important than proper diet and training.

You see, supplements don’t build great physiques–dedication to proper training and nutrition does.

Unfortunately, the workout supplement industry is plagued by pseudoscience, ridiculous hype, misleading advertising and endorsements, products full of junk ingredients, underdosing key ingredients, and many other shenanigans.

Most supplement companies produce cheap, junk products and try to dazzle you with ridiculous marketing claims, high-profile (and very expensive) endorsements, pseudo-scientific babble, fancy-sounding proprietary blends, and flashy packaging.

So, while workout supplements don’t play a vital role in building muscle and losing fat, and many are a complete waste of money…the right ones can help.

The truth of the matter is there are safe, natural substances that have been scientifically proven to deliver benefits such as increased strength, muscle endurance and growth, fat loss, and more.

As a part of my work, it’s been my job to know what these substances are, and find products with them that I can use myself and recommend to others.

Finding high-quality, effective, and fairly priced products has always been a struggle, though.

That’s why I took matters into my own hands and decided to create my own supplements. And not just another line of “me too” supplements–the exact formulations I myself have always wanted and wished others would create.

I won’t go into a whole spiel here though. If you want to learn more about my supplement line, check this out.

For the purpose of this article, let’s just quickly review the supplements that are going to help you get the most out of your leg (and other) workouts.

Creatine

Creatine is a substance found naturally in the body and in foods like red meat. It’s perhaps the most researched molecule in the world of sport supplements–the subject of hundreds of studies–and the consensus is very clear:

Supplementation with creatine helps…

You may have heard that creatine is bad for your kidneys, but these claims have been categorically and repeatedly disproven. In healthy subjects, creatine has been shown to have no harmful side effects, in both short- or long-term usage. People with kidney disease are not advised to supplement with creatine, however.

If you have healthy kidneys, I highly recommend that you supplement with creatine. It’s safe, cheap, and effective.

In terms of specific products, I use my own, of course, which is called RECHARGE.

RECHARGE is 100% naturally sweetened and flavored and each serving contains:

  • 5 grams of creatine monohydrate
  • 2100 milligrams of L-carnitine L-tartrate
  • 10.8 milligrams of corosolic acid

This gives you the proven strength, size, and recovery benefits of creatine monohydrate plus the muscle repair and insulin sensitivity benefits of L-carnitine L-tartrate and corosolic acid.

creatine-supplement

Protein Powder

You don’t need protein supplements to gain muscle, but, considering how much protein you need to eat every day to maximize muscle growth, getting all your protein from whole food can be impractical.

That’s the main reason I created (and use) a whey protein supplement. (There’s also evidence that whey protein is particularly good for your post-workout nutrition.)
WHEY+ is 100% naturally sweetened and flavored whey isolate that is made from milk sourced from small dairy farms in Ireland, which are known for their exceptionally high-quality dairy.

I can confidently say that this is the creamiest, tastiest, healthiest all-natural whey protein powder you can find.

whey-protein-supplement

Pre-Workout Drink

There’s no question that a pre-workout supplement can get you fired up to get to work in the gym. There are downsides and potential risks, however.

Many pre-workout drinks are stuffed full of ineffective ingredients and/or minuscule dosages of otherwise good ingredients, making them little more than a few cheap stimulants with some “pixie dust” sprinkled in to make for a pretty label and convincing ad copy.

Many others don’t even have stimulants going for them and are just complete duds.

Others still are downright dangerous, like USPLabs’ popular pre-workout “Jack3d,” which contained a powerful (and now banned) stimulant known as DMAA.

Even worse was the popular pre-workout supplement “Craze,” which contained a chemical similar to methamphetamine.

The reality is it’s very hard to find a pre-workout supplement that’s light on stimulants but heavy on natural, safe, performance-enhancing ingredients like beta-alanine, betaine, and citrulline.

And that’s why I made my own pre-workout supplement. It’s called PULSE and it contains 6 of the most effective performance-enhancing ingredients available:

And what you won’t find in PULSE is equally special:

  • No artificial sweeteners or flavors..
  • No artificial food dyes.
  • No unnecessary fillers, carbohydrate powders, or junk ingredients.

The bottom line is if you want to know what a pre-workout is supposed to feel like…if you want to experience the type of energy rush and performance boost that only clinically effective dosages of scientifically validated ingredients can deliver…then you want to try PULSE.

pre-workout-supplement

Want More Workouts?

How to Get a Bigger and Rounder Butt in Just 30 Days

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How to Get Bigger and Stronger Shoulders in Just 30 Days

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How to Get Bigger and Stronger Triceps in Just 30 Days

big triceps

How to Get Bigger and Stronger Biceps in Just 30 Days

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How to Get a Bigger and Stronger Chest in Just 30 Days

how to get bigger chest

How to Get a Bigger and Stronger Back in Just 30 Days

bigger stronger back workout

What’s your take on getting bigger legs? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like my articles, then you'll love my bestselling books. They'll show you exactly what you need to do to build muscle and lose fat without hating your diet or living in the gym.

If you're a guy, check out Bigger Leaner Stronger, and if you're a girl, Thinner Leaner Stronger is for you.

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE USED MY BOOKS TO BUILD THEIR BEST BODIES EVER. WILL YOU BE NEXT?

If you want a "paint-by-numbers," step-by-step blueprint for building a muscular, lean, strong body...faster than you ever thought possible...then you want to check out my bestselling books.

Here's a little sneak peek of what you'll learn inside...

  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
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The bottom line is you CAN achieve that “Hollywood body" without having your life revolve around it. No long hours in the gym, no starving yourself, and no grueling cardio that turns your stomach.

My book will show you how. Get it today and let’s build a body you can be proud of.

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

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